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Loose Cannons (1990)

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An unconventional cop who doesn't take any bull, is paired up with an amazing detective to capture some powerful criminals but the cop soon realizes that his by the book partner has split personality disorder.





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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Ellis Fielding
... MacArthur Stern
... Harry Gutterman
... Smiley
... Riva
... Von Metz
... Grimmer
... Captain
... Steckler
... Weskit
Robert Irvin Elliott ... Monseigneur (as Robert Elliott)
... Cheshire Cat
... White Rabbit
... Drummond
... Rachel


Mac, the two fisted savy cop finds that he's being saddled with a new partner, a known burn out, to work with him on a new and difficult case. The new partner is, Ellis, an amazing detective, one who puts Sherlock Holmes to shame with his lightning fast deductions. Ellis has a couple of problems. He keeps assuming the personalities of entire casts of Television shows. This can be a problem when people begin shooting at them. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Detective Mack Stern is facing the greatest challenge of his career... his new partner! See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 February 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Von Metz Incident  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,239,830, 11 February 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ellis and MacArthur approach the Capital Building and go inside. The interior, however, is actually the interior of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC. See more »


When Grimmer shoots at Ellis behind the stained glass at Grand Central Station, his gun locks as if he has fired his last round of a magazine. When the camera comes back to him, the gun is back to ready position without his cycling a magazine. See more »


Mac: This place looks like an explosion in a dairy.
See more »


Spoofs Star Trek (1966) See more »


The Theme from The Love Boat
Written by Charles Fox (as Charlie Fox) and Paul Williams
Performed by Dan Aykroyd (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

A low-grade embarrassment
19 August 2007 | by See all my reviews

The only remarkable aspect of this threadbare, puerile movie is the talent level associated with it. Richard Matheson had a hand in the screenplay, and Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd both said yes to a film that, frankly, should never have been released in its presented form. Without knowing the history of the preproduction, the assumption would be that there had to be a major change to the script between initial conception and the final product. Otherwise, it is hard to see Hackman or Aykroyd accepting on the basic premise of making cheap laughs out of a psychiatric illness – bearing in mind this was long before the days of "Me, Myself and Irene." The darker elements of the plot certainly call for a much more serious approach, which could have worked with a better actor. In reality, it's hard to chuckle as Aykroyd goons about as Butch Cassidy, various Star Trek characters, and Road Runner, to name but a few.

These personalities manifest under severe duress, and such a plot device would be more believable if the character was a civilian caught up in the cops & robbers chase. Instead – incredibly - not only is Aykroyd a cop, he was never cut out for the rigors of police work and was given the job as a favor from his uncle, a senior police detective. Really, which career cops do that kind of thing? Worse still, Aykroyd is brought out of convalescence by the same uncle, who is apparently so desperate to crack a case that he will endanger the welfare of a family member with a very serious psychiatric illness, and risk the loss of his job for gross misconduct. Suspending disbelief even in the name of broad comedy can only go so far.

The movie sets the tone right at the beginning with a crass scene that introduces Hackman as a detective on a disturbance-of-the-peace call to an apartment building. Why a couple of detectives are sent out on a routine call is never adequately explained. Aykroyd's gooning is often plainly embarrassing – leaping around in the street during a car chase, doing a flying monkey/Wicked Witch skit from "The Wizard of Oz" comes painfully to mind. The bad guys might as well be made from cardboard, which would explain how such ruthless villains can just stand there holding their guns as Aykroyd-as-Road-Runner steamrolls over them. Beep-beep! It's all extremely low-grade stuff, and deserves to be avoided, even by fans of the main actors, especially as Hackman is only here to make up the numbers. There is an attempt at empathy for Aykroyd's character with some serious talk about his condition, but Aykroyd simply isn't a gifted-enough actor to pull this off. Dom DeLuise is along for the ride and he does what little is asked of him. In fact, his character is very easy for the audience to identify with, as he rolls his eyes and groans at Aykroyd's antics throughout the movie.

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